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Thread: Barack Obama forced to deny abandoning 'change' despite insider appointments

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    Elite Member witchcurlgirl's Avatar
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    Default Barack Obama forced to deny abandoning 'change' despite insider appointments

    Barack Obama forced to deny abandoning 'change' amid insider appointments


    Barack Obama defended his decision to pack his new Cabinet with veteran Washington insiders and former Clinton officials yesterday after a campaign in which he promised change.

    The President-elect responded after naming the former Federal Reserve chairman Paul Volcker, a veteran of the Carter and Reagan Administrations, as the head of a new economic panel to stop “groupthink” infecting his inner circle of White House financial advisers.

    There have been mounting concerns, particularly from the liberal wing of his Democratic Party, that Mr Obama has pivoted sharply to the centre-right with his choice of top Cabinet posts.

    His main economic advisers have close ties to the Clinton White House and Mr Obama has already chosen Hillary Clinton to be his Secretary of State. His chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, once served Bill Clinton, and more appointments still to be announced will include a slew of officials who served in the most recent Democratic Administration.

    “What we are going to do is combine experience with fresh thinking,” Mr Obama said at his third press conference in as many days. He said he would be foolish, at such a “critical time in our history”, to pick people who “had no experience in Washington whatsoever”.

    He added: “What I don’t want to do is somehow suggest that because you somehow served in the last [Clinton]administration you are barred from serving again.”

    Mr Obama said he was forming an economic recovery advisory board, with Mr Volcker to head it, to give independent economic advice from outside the White House. “Sometimes policymaking in Washington can become a little bit too ingrown, a little bit too insular,” Mr Obama said. “The walls of the echo chamber can sometimes keep out fresh voices and new ways of thinking.”

    Mr Obama said the board, which would report to him regularly, would be filled with individuals from diverse sectors of the economy and would be government outsiders, “to challenge some of our assumptions, to make sure that we are not just doing the same old thing all the time”.

    Mr Volcker, 81, a legendary economic figure who has been a close adviser to Mr Obama, was appointed Chairman of the Federal Reserve by Jimmy Carter in 1979, a time of runaway inflation and high unemployment. He tamed inflation by raising interest rates; a highly controversial move, but one that was later credited with reviving the economy. He was retained in his post by President Reagan.

    Mr Obama told anxious Americans that “help is on the way” for the beleaguered economy, but he again gave warning that it would take time to revive the nation’s fortunes.

    He spoke as more grim economic news emerged, and as the federal deficit was revealed to be on course to surge to well over $1 trillion (£650 billion).

    On Tuesday the Bush Administration announced that it was going to spend another $800 billion — in addition to the $700 billion Wall Street rescue package passed by Congress last month — to unclog credit markets and help homeowners threatened with repossession.

    The total of $1.5 trillion does not include Mr Obama’s proposed economic stimulus plan, which could exceed $700 billion, that he wants to sign into law as soon as he takes office.

    He made it clear yesterday that his job of governing the country had, in effect, already begun. “I was elected with the charge of getting this economy back in shape,” Mr Obama said.

    He added that over the next two months he would put together an economic crisis plan that he would implement “starting day one, when I come into office”.

    He suggested that US banking executives should forgo big bonuses, given the financial climate. “I think that if you are already worth tens of millions of dollars and you are having to lay off workers, the least you can do is say, ‘I’m willing to make some sacrifice as well’,” he said, in an ABC News interview.

    Barack Obama has been told he must give up his BlackBerry on Inauguration Day, when he is brought under the Presidential Records Act, which puts his correspondence on official records and ultimately up for public review (Catherine Philp writes). Will he be able to let go?

    In an interview with Barbara Walters last night, he joked that he was “still negotiating” the issue with the Secret Service and White House staff. “One of the things that I’m going to have to work through is how to break through the isolation, the bubble that exists around the president,” he said.

    The bloggers' view
    “Is it true he is going to allow Bush’s tax cuts to continue until 2011? We voted for change, not to govern with the same old cronies”
    (Nan2008, HuffingtonPost.com)

    “How can economists who supported deregulation of the markets provide the answer to regaining our economic viability?”
    (Elderly, HuffingtonPost.com)

    “Joe Biden, Hillary Clinton, Janet Napolitano, Jim Jones, and Robert Gates — that is, overall, a centre-right foreign policy team. All of them, with the possible exception of Jones, supported the Iraq war from the outset”
    (Chris Bowers, openleft.com)

    “Not a single, solitary, actual dyed-in-the-wool progressive has, as far as I can tell, even been mentioned for a position in the new administration”
    (Christopher Hayes, Leftout.com)

    Barack Obama forced to deny abandoning 'change' amid insider appointments - Times Online



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    Elite Member McJag's Avatar
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    I don't think he has to defend a damn thing. Some of the people he is using-while recycled-left this country with a surplus. That would be refreshing.
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    Elite Member kingcap72's Avatar
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    I don't think Obama has to defend a damn thing either. He never said that change would be all new faces in Washington. If people took it that way then that's on them. The change he talked about was cleaning up the mess Dubya made.

    Besides anybody on the Democratic side that's been in Washington for at least 10 years or more has some connections to the Clintons. It's hard to avoid that.

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    And I guess the Bushites only put the best people for the job in place -- none of them were cronies.

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    Elite Member nana55's Avatar
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    If he put a bunch a newbies people would bitch aslo. I think Obama will bring a fresh view to a tired office. He wants opinions, not yes men.
    If I can't be a good example, then let me be a horrible warning.

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    Friend of Gossip Rocks! buttmunch's Avatar
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    Quite frankly he needs to have a good mix of new faces and tried and true public servants. His presidency is facing such huge issues that he needs to hit the ground running and needs to be surrounded by wise and experienced people. As far as I can tell he's made some excellent picks and Im'm looking forward to seeing the rest.
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    Bronze Member gator_mclusky's Avatar
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    In two yrs all of this change he has promised and wont materialize and the country will still have a President that has Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton at his side. Sickening!

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    Friend of Gossip Rocks! buttmunch's Avatar
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    Huh? Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton have no part of his admin and I will bet my life they never will. Get real. Obama is a measured, intelligent man who will make measured, intelligent decisions. He has already made it abundantly clear that as a nation America is facing huge problems, the likes of which we've never really seen and I'm grateful beyond words that it's him at the helm. I doubt anything will be fixed overnight, particularly since he's already said very clearly that it's a hard, long road in front of us. Thank goodness we're not going to be patronized and told that everything is great when we all know it's going to shit. If anyone can pull America out of its current muddle, Obama can. I back him 100% and would sincerely hope that everyone and anyone, no matter what their political stripes, would do the same. Working against him is not only self-defeating but plain stupid. Are you listening Faux News?
    'Those who sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither.' Ben Franklin

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    Elite Member RevellingInSane's Avatar
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    If he picked people with absolutely no experience that would be both unwise and dangerous. Remember Dubya?

    He chose people who at least have leadership experience. Anyone who is in the Washington power circles is going to be tied to some familiar name or another. That doesn't mean the person can not do his/her job well, which is what this nation needs.

    This seems to be the conservative supporters speaking out because he hasn't packed positions with right wingers. I wonder why. It isn't as if the conservatives had eight years to prove they could accomplish something helpful to the nation. I will give him one hundred percent of my support for his decisions. If his choices show themselves to be overwhelmed and unworthy, and he doesn't replace them, then I will criticize.

    As for Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton, the closest they will get to any cabinet positions is breaking into the White House and sitting on kitchen counter tops.



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    Elite Member kingcap72's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gator_mclusky View Post
    In two yrs all of this change he has promised and wont materialize and the country will still have a President that has Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton at his side. Sickening!
    One of the guys I work with keeps saying the same thing. And I'll tell you what I told him. Just because Obama's black doesn't mean he's going to automatically work with Jesse & Al. Not all black people fall in line with Jesse and Al. Shocking, I know.

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    Elite Member Grimmlok's Avatar
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    King, that's silly. All black people act the same. Resistance is funkay. You will all join the BlackBorg.
    I am from the American CIA and I have a radio in my head. I am going to kill you.

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    Elite Member kingcap72's Avatar
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    Grim, the BlackBorg is suppose to be top secret. How did you find out? Dammit, we've got a leak.

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    Gold Member ymeman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by McJag View Post
    I don't think he has to defend a damn thing. Some of the people he is using-while recycled-left this country with a surplus. That would be refreshing.

    He doesn't. This is a headline straight out of sore-loser hell. Even if we change back to all Clintonites it's still change from the nightmare that was Bush.

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    Elite Member bychance's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gator_mclusky View Post
    In two yrs all of this change he has promised and wont materialize and the country will still have a President that has Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton at his side. Sickening!
    But I seem to remember that Al and Jesse hated Obama because wasn't black enough and/or wanted to cut his nuts off?

    you neo-con crazy $#%$DF, make up your MIND.
    Last edited by bychance; November 28th, 2008 at 10:20 PM. Reason: a little less meaner

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    Elite Member HWBL's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ymeman View Post
    He doesn't. This is a headline straight out of sore-loser hell. Even if we change back to all Clintonites it's still change from the nightmare that was Bush.
    ITA. It's like Obama said in his reply to what the big change would be: "Me".
    Concise and accurate. There couldn't be a bigger difference between the
    two administrations, even if the only change would have been at the top.
    We will actually have a president with a working brain for the first time
    since Clinton.
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